The Nature Conservation Council of NSW says demonstrators will protest in a peaceful rally during the two day meeting, as they call for greater use of wind and solar power.
The six attending nations – Australia, the US, Japan, South Korea, China and India — which account for almost half the world’s population, energy and economic output, last year pledged to form a new climate initiative to bypass perceived problems in the Kyoto Protocol. However, Nature Conservation Council director Cate Faehrmann argues the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate was intended to scuttle the expansion of renewable energy sources and fears the conference will not set any binding targets for reducing greenhouse gases.
“The talks are intended to divert attention away from solutions like renewable energy in favour of non-binding targets using technologies that don’t even exist yet,” Ms Faehrmann said. “The so-called Asia-Pacific Partnership is essentially a coal pact that allows Australia to continue to do next to nothing to stop climate change.”
But Environment Minister Ian Campbell says the conference will aim for more cooperation to the world’s climate problems and it would be unrealistic to suggest that a solution could be achieved after one meeting. “The outcome has got to be to establish a new level of co-operation, an unprecedented level of co-operation between these six important countries,” he said.
Adding further strain to the meeting, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has pulled out of the conference due to concerns over the Middle East caused by the poor health of Israeli leader Ariel Sharon. Mel Varley